Monthly Archives: August 2015

Live with Grace: A Review of “For The Love”

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I love to laugh. I’m pretty sure that laughter is part of my DNA, and I think that is why I enjoy comedy so much. Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, and Jim Gaffigan have the keys to my heart. But I’m also a deeply melancholy introvert.

And from the moment I started Jen Hatmaker’s For The Love, I knew that this woman gets me.

I laughed my butt off, cried my heart out, and my soul was touched.

Wildly hilarious, yet realistic and down-to-earth, Jen Hatmaker’s heart for Christ and passion for grace shines through on every page of For The Love. Discussing topics as varied as fashion and friendships, community and church, missions and social media, For The Love coats all of life in a heavy helping of grace, reminding readers to share the love and grace we have been given with everyone we come into contact with.

I found this passage from page 162 of For The Love to be particularly beautiful:

I study Anglican theology, read prayer books by priests, serve alongside friends from the Word and Faith movement, and secretly envy charismatics. I love the liturgy of the Presbies and can party like a Catholic… I pretty much love all of the church. Each expression is a bit of a hot mess, but bless her, she’s our mess.

I think Hatmaker’s sentiment is so refreshing, because often Christians spend more time debating why their expression of Christianity is more genuine, when really, we can all learn from each other. Because as much as I love my Presbyterian church, I’m pretty confident that in Heaven, all the truest aspects of all the faces of Christianity will come together and our worship will be finally be pure before the Lord!

Overall, I found For The Love to be a poignant and beautiful reminder of how amazing God’s Grace truly is. Although written with married women in mind, I found For The Love to be filled with wit and wisdom and would recommend to adult women of all ages and backgrounds.  I would give For The Love a “B+”.

Find out more about Jen Hatmaker, and her books.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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Live with Conviction: A Review of “Dancing Through Life”

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I’ve mentioned in the past that I love Full House. And Candace Cameron Bure.

After reading her first two books (you can read my review of her second book, Balancing It All here), I was excited to read her newest book, Dancing Through Life. 

Giving an inside-scoop on what her time on Dancing With The Stars was like, Candace shares how each step of her journey shaped her, and how she learned to stay true to herself, live with conviction, and show love to those around her.

Written with incredible wisdom and humor, I found Dancing Through Life to be insightful, encouraging, and fun to read. And while easy to read (I read it in one day), it is not simply an attempt to paint her life as all perfume and pretty dresses– Candace shares some of her personal struggles with identity, finding balance in life, and learning to break free from the shackles of chronic people-pleasing and simply dance for an audience of One, on and off the dance floor.

I particularly enjoyed Candace’s discussion of modesty in Dancing Through Life, as it was a refreshing perspective that was concerned with more than hemlines and necklines.

I would highly recommend Dancing Through Life, and believe it is Candace’s strongest book to date, and I look forward to reading her future work, and sharing it with friends. I would give Dancing Through Life an “A”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, B & H Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 .

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A Review of “A Well-Ordered Church”

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As someone who has spent time in a variety of different denominations, with friends and relatives in a variety of denominations, and relatively new to the Reformed faith, I was intrigued by William Boekestein and Daniel R. Hyde’s new book, A Well- Ordered Church. 

Boekestein and Hyde’s A Well- Ordered Church is an excellent overview for lay people, as they cover the identity, authority, ecumenicity, and activity of a healthy church. I appreciated the constant reliance on the Word of God, as well as the rich use of historic confessions.

Armed with Scripture, A Well-Ordered Church fights against ideologies such as churchless Christianity or “just me and my Bible”, and remind readers of the beauty and necessity of A Well-Ordered Church in the life of every Christian. I was particularly moved by this statement in A Well-Ordered Church:

“If we are trying to be unified based on common interests, personal friendships, socio-economic status, racial grouping, or even a joint mission we are at risk of losing the right to be called a “church.” The church is unified in Christ because the church derives her identity from her union with Christ (Ephesians 2:20).”

While not perfect, and while every reader, like myself, is sure to find issues in A Well-Ordered Church, it is overall a well-written, informative, and beneficial book that I would recommend to anyone interested in a better understanding of the Reformed church. I would give A Well-Ordered Church a “B”.

You can read my review of William Boekestein’s biography on Ulrich Zwingli here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Cross Focused Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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The Least of These: A Review of “Mama Maggie”

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Living in United States, it is easy to take our lifestyle and religious freedom for granted. But when you read a book like Mama Maggie, it gives you a heightened awareness of the comfortableness of our lives, and a reminder of how so many of our fellow Christians live in poverty, and how they endure persecution because of their faith.

Mama Maggie tells the story of a woman, born into a wealthy Egyptian Coptic family that left a luxurious life as a professor to work among the zabaleen, the garbage people.

Living in incredible filth and poverty, the garbage people are plagued by sickness and illiteracy. But Mama Maggie works to show the love of God them, Christian and Muslim, by educating them, teaching them trades, tending to their wounds and sickness, and protecting the helpless and abused.

I found myself inspired and challenged by the story of Mama Maggie’s faith and service, and would encourage Christians to read her story, and learn from her example of Godliness. If you enjoyed Kisses from Katieyou are sure to be blessed by the unforgettable story of Mama Maggie. I would give Mama Maggie an “A”.

You can find out more about Mama Maggie’s ministy, Stephen’s Children here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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